Faux leather, also known as synthetic leather or vegan leather, is a man-made fabric designed to mimic the appearance and texture of genuine leather. It is made from various synthetic materials and does not contain any animal products, making it a cruelty-free alternative to real leather. The two main types of faux leather are:

faux leather

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) or Vinyl faux leather

PVC or vinyl faux leather is made by adding dyes and plastic materials to polyvinyl chloride, giving it a leather-like appearance. The process involves:

  1. Obtaining chlorine by exposing salt to electrolysis.
  2. Combining the chlorine with ethylene derived from petroleum to create ethylene dichloride.
  3. Converting ethylene dichloride into vinyl chloride monomers at high temperatures.
  4. Polymerizing the monomers into polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin.
  5. Adding plasticizers to the PVC to make it flexible and bind it to a base fabric like polyester or cotton.

Vinyl faux leather is flexible but not breathable, so it is not suitable for clothing. It is commonly used for upholstery, book bindings, and cases for electronic devices where moisture resistance is desired.

Polyurethane (PU) faux leather

PU faux leather is made by coating natural fabrics like cotton or wool with a polymer-based substance and then treating it to resemble leather. The process involves:

  1. Obtaining a base fabric like cotton or polyester.
  2. Formulating the polyurethane by reacting isocyanates, polyols, and various additives.
  3. Exposing the polyurethane to plasticizing additives to make it flexible.
  4. Melting the polyurethane and overlaying it onto the base fabric, binding the two materials together

PU faux leather is more breathable than vinyl and commonly used for clothing, upholstery, and accessories that come into direct contact with skin.[1][5] It is considered more realistic in look and feel compared to vinyl.

Both PVC and PU faux leathers can be embossed with artificial grain patterns to mimic the texture of real leather.They are available in various colors, patterns, and finishes, increasing their versatility.

While faux leather is durable and affordable, it does not develop the same patina or luster as real leather over time. It is also less puncture and tear-resistant than genuine leather.However, it offers a cruelty-free and often more affordable alternative to real leather products.

Shoes web faux leather

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